All About Town
Legend has it that when Steve Earle was hunting for bands to have on his “E-Squared” label, he checked out both the V-Roys and Whiskeytown at the Star Bar’s famed “Bubbapalooza” festival. Perhaps recognizing too much of his own past in W’Town’s Ryan Adams, he opted for the V-Roys. After a few years down the road it’s hard to say he made a bad choice. While Whiskeytown seems to go through players like a newborn goes through diapers, the V-Roys have released great records, backed Earle on various compilations, and made a name for themselves live.
Their new record, All About Town, features the songwriting and singing of Scott Miller and Mic Harrison, along with a few cuts co-authored by Earle. The record moves from the horn-driven punch of “Amy 88” to the bluegrass of “Virginia Way/Shenandoah Breakdown” with easy assurance. In fact, the only downside is that on cuts like “Hold on to Me” they sound too much like Earle (who produced the record with Ray Kennedy). But these moments are brief. From “Testify,” which cops the bass line from “You Can’t Hurry Love” to “Sorry Sue,” a weary dismissal of a perhaps suitor, the record is wonderfully varied and strong — All About Town, so to speak. E-Squared, 1815 Division St., Suite 101, Nashville, TN 37203